Archive for November, 2009

Marketing to Various Generations of Women

Monday, November 30th, 2009

couple2Aging is a normal occurrence. It happens to all living things. At different stages in life, women have different lifestyles, wants and desires. Millenniums are more focused on now, the environment and how they can make the world a better place for all. Gen X women often balance careers and family responsibilities. Boomer women control much of the money in the U.S. as a result of their careers and inheritance. Additionally, they often shoulder much of the responsibility for both their own family needs and those of their elderly parents.couple1

To market to the variety of women consumers, companies need to realize their time constraints, values and respect their complex lives. Younger women are very tech savvy and utilize its convenience to shop, research and connect with others. Career mothers are the most time restricted and welcome products and services that make their lives easier. Senior women today are active well into their seventies enjoying recreational activities and travel when they can afford it.

couple3Today is not like yesterday and it won’t be the same tomorrow. Smart companies are ahead of trends. They realize and meet the challenges they face in marketing to a diverse group of women whether they are selling healthcare, financial products, automobiles, homes or cosmetics.

Is Thanksgiving A Gender Bias Holiday?

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

tgiving1In the past, Thanksgiving meant a day of cooking, cleaning and preparing for women. Men enjoyed watching football, eating and relaxing. These roles in no way took away from the meaning of the holiday—sharing food with friends and family and giving thanks for what we have and for each other.

tgiving2As with many things, traditions are changing. More women enjoy the football games and more men are doing the cooking. Men are more involved if frying or smoking the turkey is the method of preparation, rather than roasting the bird in the oven. But as far as my own family, it is a mixture. I imagine a lot of people are creating new traditions as roles evolve. One of my sons does all the cooking, except for what the guests bring. While both he and his wife like the Cowboys, she may be the bigger fan. My other son is very familiar with the kitchen, but his wife is the one in charge of planning, a lot of the preparation and most of the clean-up. She has a large family and on Thanksgiving the women gather in the kitchen, while the men watch football. My daughter is the cook in her family…on Thanksgiving and every other day.

I used to be the family cook as well. But since I currently work longer hours, mytgiving3 husband does most of the cooking. He has made some very impressive dishes. However, on Thanksgiving, it is definitely me in the kitchen and him in front of the TV. Some of my friends choose to go out to eat rather than cook, but I love smelling the wonderful aromas that are abundant at Thanksgiving.

What’s happening in your family? Who cooks and who watches football?

How Do Women Define Success? (Part 2 of 2)

Monday, November 16th, 2009

I can’t speak for all women, but from my research, here’s how women define success:Guest Blogger

Gaining Control – But not over other people, control over themselves, their time, their schedules, their responsibilities.

Working Smarter – In the past the focus has been on how hard can you work, how many hours you can log at the office, wearing that badge of honor of the 80, 90 hour workweek you regularly clock. Today, many women value time as much as money. (And they’re not alone – men are feeling the time pinch as well). Women’s new badge of honor isn’t how many hours they can work, it’s how much they can get done in fewer hours.

Flexible Schedules – Many women are saying – “I can put in the hours, but I want to put in those hours on my schedule.” They’re opting to work four 10-hour days instead of 5 days. They’re putting in the hours, but working around family time, medical appointments and other responsibilities that often don’t fit into an 8-6 workday.

Work that Matches Their Values – Women are tired of work that is energy draining and unfulfilling. They’re also keenly aware when their company values don’t match their own. This happens far more than you might think. I hear from many women who feel compromised and unsupported at work. They want to do work they believe in.

If you’re a woman in the workforce today, think long and hard about your definition of success. More and more women are asking to work on their terms. Or, as Christopher Morley said so perfectly….There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.

If you’re a company who wants to attract women – make sure you understand what her idea of success looks like. One of the most interesting things we’ve seen is that when you create better work environments for women, not only do women benefit, the companies benefit as well.

Here’s a toast to all our success, whatever it may look like.
I can’t speak for all women, but from my research, here’s how women define success:

Gaining Control – But not over other people, control over themselves, their time, their schedules, their responsibilities.

Working Smarter – In the past the focus has been on how hard can you work, how many hours you can log at the office, wearing that badge of honor of the 80, 90 hour workweek you regularly clock. Today, many women value time as much as money. (And they’re not alone – men are feeling the time pinch as well). Women’s new badge of honor isn’t how many hours they can work, it’s how much they can get done in fewer hours.

Flexible Schedules – Many women are saying – “I can put in the hours, but I want to put in those hours on my schedule.” They’re opting to work four 10-hour days instead of 5 days. They’re putting in the hours, but working around family time, medical appointments and other responsibilities that often don’t fit into an 8-6 workday.

Work that Matches Their Values – Women are tired of work that is energy draining and unfulfilling. They’re also keenly aware when their company values don’t match their own. This happens far more than you might think. I hear from many women who feel compromised and unsupported at work. They want to do work they believe in.

If you’re a woman in the workforce today, think long and hard about your definition of success. More and more women are asking to work on their terms. Or, as Christopher Morley said so perfectly….There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.

If you’re a company who wants to attract women – make sure you understand what her idea of success looks like. One of the most interesting things we’ve seen is that when you create better work environments for women, not only do women benefit, the companies benefit as well.

Here’s a toast to all our success, whatever it may look like.

Holly Buchanan is the co-Author of The Soccer Mom Myth – Today’s Female Consumer: Who She Really Is, Why She Really Buys. You can read her marketing to women blog at http://marketingtowomenonline.typepad.com/blog/

How Do Women Define Success? (Part 1 of 2)

Monday, November 9th, 2009

Guest BloggerHow does a woman define success? Is it the same way a man describes success?

This question crossed my mind when I read about a book titled, Find Your Strongest Life: What the Happiest and Most Successful Women Do Differently by Marcus Buckingham. I know Buckingham is a self described “strength strategist,” but the title didn’t connect with me. I’ve done a lot of research on women and what they want – the words “having a strong life” have never come up.

You obviously can’t lump all women into one bucket, but I am curious – what does success look like to a woman? What does she really want? Especially from her career?

For many men, success is about earning lots of money, having power and control, being a good provider and being independent.

Women in the workforce have been pushing to have those same opportunities, to earn more money, have more power, move up the corporate ladder. They’ve been working the long hours, taking on more responsibility, proving they’re just as driven as the men. All this is true, but is it what women really want?

In their book Womenomics, Claire Shipman and Katty Kay present research and advice on how women can write their own rules for success.

“We want to show you your value through a whole different lens. We want you to work less but achieve more and live better. We want to make sure you go through such a profound mental shift that once you put down this book you will never again see achievement as hours in the seat, rungs on the ladder, and a fancy business title. It’s all too easy to be influenced by other people’s perceptions of what you should do. We’re going to show each of you how to carve out a whole new more satisfying path and write your own rules for success.

We’ll teach you how to come clean about what you really want, how to ignore what the traditional careerists say you want, and how to say no to what you don’t want.”
Holly Buchanan is the co-Author of The Soccer Mom Myth – Today’s Female Consumer: Who She Really Is, Why She Really Buys. You can read her marketing to women blog at http://marketingtowomenonline.typepad.com/blog/

Why Would You Want a Pink Team Jersey?

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

I know many women who love sports, especially football. Like male fans, they enjoy wearing jerseys with their favorite team player’s number. That I understand. What I find intriguing is that they often choose a pink jersey over the team’s colors. I have lots of shirts besides sport teams that I love in various shades of pink, but if I’m supporting a team, I want to do it in their colors, whether I’m buying team merchandise that are shirts, sweat suits, outerwear, shoes or jewelry. But that is a personal preference, not a rule of marketing.

 

                                                                    

To me, color is part of the team logo. I know the dark blue and silver with a lone star represents the Dallas Cowboys, just as I know that green and gold are the Green Bay Packers’ colors. I pondered whether people would know I was wearing Tony Romo’s number if I’m wearing the pink version unless, of course, I’m Jessica Simpson.

 

I was fascinated that the NFL made so much merchandise in pink. So I asked an expert about it. Susan Rothman, Vice President-Consumer Products, Apparel at the NFL, explained that she thought pink NFL jerseys sold so well because “a number of women like the fact it is distinctly feminine. Others don’t particularly like their team’s color as a fashion item in their closet.” Susan added that she gets a lot of emails from women who thank her for having women’s merchandise in their team’s colors that is specifically made for them. Believe it or not, it wasn’t that long ago when women had to buy men’s products to have team merchandise.

 

The NFL keeps adding new products and many people enjoy the variety of options and ways they can support their home team. With so many choices available these day, buying merchandise is fun. I love that you can even get Crocs in team colors. Women can adorn their necks, wrists, fingers and ear lobes with colorful tokens showing their support for the home team.

 

Below are just a few things I thought were fun as well as functional.

                                                                                                                        

 

Green Bay Packers Women’s Stripe Knit Gloves          Crocs NFL Beach Minnesota Vikings Adults    Pittsburgh Steelers Fanatics Purse

 

What are your thoughts? Would you buy yourself or someone else a pink jersey or would you stick with the traditional team colors?

Women Can Be Very Loyal Fans

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

While men might care more about RPI (runs per inning) and other baseball player stats, many women care more about knowing something about the crowd1players and their families. What they do in their free time and how they first got involved in sports.

This is true in all sports. You have your avid female aficionados who can quote you stats, wins/losses, racing times, etc. You have the moderate enthusiasts, who attend or watch the game because it is of interest to their husbands or significant other. They understand the game, but can take it or leave it. And you have the “not-at-all” interested women who don’t want to know anything about the game or the players. She has better things to do than viewing sporting events. Of course you have men that fit into all three of these categories as well.

While the uninterested women would be very hard, although not a 100% impossible, to convert to a fan, much can be done to win the women who enjoy the game, but who aren’t devoted followers. I, personally, have friends who are fantasy football fanatics. They follow games and players in depth and are probably as competitive among themselves as the players are on the field.

Major league teams are realizing the value of marketing to women andhockey1 converting them to lifelong supporters. The Wine, Women and Baseball and Learn the FUNdamentals of Baseball are just two examples of what teams are doing. One hockey team started an All-female Fan Club. Another has a series of Hockey and Heels nights.

How much of a sports fan are you?